Feeling good and being healthy should be on the top of your priority list.
An American doctor whose trade is in appearance is getting behind a push to help people understand that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Cosmetic surgeon Mitchell G Cohen, MD says looking one’s best is important, but don’t neglect overall health.
Don’t wait until you feel ill to have a check-up
‘Many people only see a doctor when they are in pain or sense a serious ailment,’ he said. ‘This is quite curious, as many people regularly take their car to the garage for maintenance and an oil change, have a technician check the air-con at home, and treat their lawn to keep it beautiful. But isn’t health much more important than your car, air conditioner or lawn?
‘Many chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease take a long time to develop, and their development can easily be discovered and treated during a routine exam with your doctor.’
We all live busy lives. We spend more time at the office than we would like, the drive to the office in congested traffic can rob you of significant time, and then the kids need help with homework. There simply is never enough time. Thus, seeing a doctor when you are feeling well is probably the last thing on your mind. Though most people don’t see the doctor unless they feel like it is absolutely necessary, this approach can literally be hazardous to your health and can delay a diagnosis of developing conditions.
Symptoms of most chronic conditions and diseases
Since the symptoms of most chronic conditions and diseases do not appear until the situation has become considerably worse, getting an annual medical exam is a great idea to know what exactly is going on with your body and help make the right changes to your lifestyle to prevent complications.
‘While cosmetic surgery can help you achieve dramatic improvements in your outer appearance even as you get older, you should not forget about “maintenance” for your body and mind,’ says Dr Cohen.
Have a professional screen your health
Many people resort to self-diagnosis – ‘if it feels really bad, I should probably see a doctor.’ While this approach may work fine for the common cold or a sore elbow, other situations such as prolonged stomach pains or chest discomfort should not be ignored. The most debilitating illnesses, diseases, and conditions often appear in the form of symptoms that could easily go undiagnosed or mistaken for other, less severe ones. It is best to see a medical doctor to ensure that you are in the clear.
Picture of your health
Even if the results of your medical examination turn out ‘normal,’ seeing your doctor regularly is a great way of ensuring that you’re not at risk of developing serious conditions or illnesses down the road. A simple example are routine blood tests for cholesterol and sugar which give the doctor an indication of diseases you are at risk of.
Even if there aren’t any anomalies in the results of your medical examination, getting a thorough checkup once a year can help both you and your doctor understand the true status of your health.
Review your lifestyle
Regardless of whether or not there are any problems with the results of your medical examination, visiting a doctor will help you understand the changes that you need to make to your lifestyle in order to remain healthy and active for years to come.
Additionally, since letting go of certain dangerous habits such as smoking or binge eating can be difficult without the intervention of a professional, your doctor will also be able to provide you with the right resources to change your life for the better. And since your health depends on a number of different factors, visiting a doctor regularly for checkups will ensure that the doctor has complete understanding of your medical history and all conditions that you may have, allowing him or her to provide you with the best advice to achieve or maintain a healthy lifestyle.
What does the Annual Physical involve?
While there really isn’t a fixed standard that decides, what will and will not be included in an annual physical examination, there are some things that you should expect in every annual physical examination.
When you visit your doctor for your annual physical examination, it goes without saying that your doctor will specifically ask you if you’ve been facing any problems with your health in recent weeks or months. Depending on your response, you will be thoroughly checked to ensure that the doctor fully understands and assesses the situation and pinpoints any underlying problems or conditions.
Next, the doctor will check your vital signs to get an idea of your overall health and wellbeing. Once your blood pressure, temperature, heart rate and respiration rate are checked, the doctor might start asking you some more basic questions about your health and physical state in general. By doing so, the doctor will not only figure out what they need to regarding your responsiveness and mental quickness, but the doctor might even throw in a question or two to test your memory.
Once this is done, your doctor will get into more thorough testing and examinations of important organs such as your lungs and heart. Using a stethoscope, the doctor will listen to your heartbeat to check for irregularities or any signs that could potentially be caused by cardiac problems or diseases. Your lungs, too, will be checked for any wheezing, crackles, or abnormalities that could be an indicator of respiratory issues.
The overall health of your skin, sinuses, eyes, and teeth may also be checked in a physical exam so that the doctor gets a clear picture of your overall health. Finally, your doctor may check your lymph nodes, thyroid, tonsils, and ears to ensure there are no issues.
Dr Cohen says that an annual comprehensive physical exam can help you and your doctor understand your physical health and well-being. It will not only be possible for your doctor to detect or diagnose many of different health problems, conditions, and diseases, but also help you gain health and stability in your daily life.
‘Taking care of your body will improve your overall well-being and appearance, as well as the results of any cosmetic surgery. As we all age, there are limitations as to what cosmetic surgery alone can do for you. You have to do your part, too, to look your best at any age.’
Dr Mitchell Cohen is a surgeon in California who focuses on Cosmetic Surgery as well as Laser Liposculpture and SmartLipo.